22 August 2017
By Faris Alqahtani
RIYADH — The Shoura (Consultative) Council will discuss introducing some amendments into the labor law particularly Article 77 which has caused the dismissal of a number of Saudis from their jobs in the private sector.
Abdullah Al-Fouzan, chairman of the council’s committee on social affairs, family and youth, said the council and the Ministry of Labor and Social Development were working together to make the amendments which will specifically include the controversial article which enables owners of private establishments and companies to fire Saudi citizens.
He said the committee held a number of meetings with officials from the ministry, experts and the concerned authorities to contain the adverse effects of some articles in the labor law from which the workers may suffer.
“This has come after the meeting the committee held with a number of citizens in February on the nationalization of jobs in the private sector,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hani Khashogji, member of the council’s committee on administration and human resources, said the council may again discuss raising the minimum salaries of retirees from the present SR3,000 to SR4,000 to enable them face the rising cost of living.
He recalled that the council had, more than five years ago, approved an increase in the salaries of the retirees but the General Pension and Social Security Authority (GPSSA) rejected its implementation on the ground that it would deplete its financial resources.
“The earlier decision of the council might be revived regardless of the attitude of the GPSSA,” he said.
Former member of the council’s fifth session, Ali Al-Dihaiman, who proposed the increasing of the basic salaries of the retirees, said he was surprised that some of his colleagues opposed the proposal though it was in the interest of the Saudi citizens.
He said his proposal was aimed at enabling the civil and military retirees to live a better life in the light of the high cost of living.
Dihaiman said some pensioners receive monthly salaries of not more than SR1,725 which were not enough to ensure better living for them.
The council had approved the proposal by a majority of 105 against 16 votes but the GPSSA refused to implement the decision.
The council has also been sleeping on a proposal to pay the retirees an annual increment of five percent which was made about 10 years ago.
© The Saudi Gazette 2017